Werner Acquires 500-Truck ECM Transport Group in $142 MILLION Deal
Omaha, NE – Werner Enterprises has acquired a majority stake in ECM Transport Group (ECM) in a deal worth more than $142 million.
On Thursday, the Omaha, NE-based mega carrier announced it had signed a definitive agreement and closed on the acquisition of an 80% equity ownership stake in ECM for a purchase price of $142.4 million.
Further, Werner also retains an exclusive option to buy the remaining 20% of ECM after a period of five years.
ECM consists of regional truckload carriers ECM Transport and Motor Carrier Services of PA.
ECM Transport boasts approximately 450 trucks and is headquartered in Cheswick, PA, while Motor Carrier Services of PA operates approximately 50 trucks and is headquartered in Northwood, OH.
ECM has been providing truckload services for over 30 years and also features a network of 8 terminals and 18 drop yards throughout the Mid-Atlantic, OH and Northeast regions.
In 2020, ECM achieved revenues of $108 million, with an operating margin of 19.8%.
Werner President and Chief Executive Officer, Derek Leathers, explained why he believes the deal was the right fit.
“Both companies believe deeply that our professional drivers are the backbone of our organizations,” Leathers said. “The addition of ECM’s skilled drivers, non-driver associates and terminal network strengthens our portfolio by adding short-haul expertise in a segment in which consumer demand and supply chain needs are growing.”
The acquisition will boost Werner’s fleet by more than 6% and increases its strategic coverage for regional short-haul freight services in the Mid-Atlantic, OH and Northeast regions.
According to the terms of the deal, Werner financed the transaction through a combination of cash on hand, existing credit facilities and a new $100 million fixed-rate term loan maturing in May 2024.
The remaining 20% ownership interest in ECM will be retained by Ed Meier, founder and President of ECM.
Going forward, Werner said it intends to retain the ECM brand to “ensure smooth integration and high driver retention.”
ECM will operate as a standalone business unit within Werner and ECM’s financial results will be reported in Werner’s One-Way Truckload unit within Truckload Transportation Services.
Further, existing ECM leadership (including Meier), drivers and non-driver associates will remain in place.